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Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar


I don’t eat beans. I think I’ve only used beans in, oh wait, I’ve never used beans! Maybe I’ve eaten soybeans or green beans, but that’s it. I never grew up with canned beans so I never think to buy them.

Then I tried something called Cowboy Caviar. Think of it as a bean salsa. It’s one of those things you don’t really picture and start salivating over (OK, I don’t) but once you take a bite you can’t seem to stop. This recipe makes an enormous batch, btw. I wouldn’t say this was 8 servings, like the website I adapted this recipe from says. To me it’s more like 20 servings. I’m guessing the whole thing weighed 8-9 pounds. This recipes was adapted from allrecipes.com, but with a few modifications and suggestions.

This recipe was adapted from allrecipes.com).

Cowboy Caviar

August 3, 2009
: makes 8-10 servings
: easy


  • • 15 oz. can black beans, drained
  • • 15 oz. can black-eyed peas, drained
  • • 3 small tomatoes, chopped and drained
  • • 2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • • 1/4 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • • 1/2 cup pickled jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • • 1 cup Italian salad dressing*
  • • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • • 1 lime, juiced
  • *Homemade Italian dressing:
  • • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • • 1 Tbsp. white sugar
  • • 2 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • • 1 Tbsp. dried (or fresh) parsley
  • • 1 tsp. salt
  • • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • Step 1 Mix everything together. Cool in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!



Instructions with Photos:

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Even though the recipe called for onion, I totally forgot to add the onion to mine. Doh! Next time.

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If you buy packages of frozen corn, they might come in sizes of 2/3 cup for each package. I ignored this and just used 2 packages. I’m not really concerned with exact measurements.

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You can also use canned tomatoes for this too, but I just happened to have fresh tomatoes on hand.


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I’m not a huge fan of green peppers, so instead of skipping them entirely, I minced them really fine. That way I get the essence of peppers without having to chew large chunks of them. I don’t want to be one of those people who goes through life avoiding most things because of an ingredient here or there.

Did you know I hate bananas too? But I still use them in recipes to get myself used to the taste of them.

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For some reason the minute I smell cilantro I think of Vietnamese food. I have never used cilantro for anything else other than Vietnamese food. It added that special touch to this recipe though.


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I only went through the trouble of making my own Italian dressing because I didn’t have a bottle on hand, and I had a bunch of fresh parsley I needed to use.



To explain how good this was, my husband and I ate it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and as a snack for the whole weekend. We polished it off last night.



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